Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Linguistic Varieties in Homegoing: Translating the Other’s Voice into Spanish

Miguel Sanz Jiménez



The objective of this paper is to study the Spanish translation of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (2016), a novel that adopts the form of a neo-slave narrative to chronicle a black family’s history from eighteenth-century Ghana to the early twenty-first century in the United States. The contexts in which both the source and target text were published will be described, paying attention to paratexts, to the book’s reception, and to the translation’s positive reviews. Gyasi’s debut oeuvre depicts alterity and the non-standard linguistic varieties, such as Black English, spoken by the dispossessed Other. This paper examines the strategies that the translator, Maia Figueroa (2017), has made use of to render this interplay of voices into Spanish. In addition, it considers how her choice to standardize some fragments and to introduce marked non-standard language in certain passages affects the reflection of the narrative Us vs. Otherness in the target text.


African American literature; Black English; linguistic varieties; literary translation English-Spanish; Yaa Gyasi

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